Approval of Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 likely soon -Min. Anthony

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, says approval from U.S drug regulators could soon be given for children below 12 years to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

During Thursday’s COVID-19 Update, Dr. Anthony said the Government is awaiting approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) before vaccination of the younger children begins.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP

German biotechnology company BioNTech said emergency use of the vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 would likely come between September to December.

“We are looking at approvals probably coming from the US-FDA sometime later this month, by mid this month or by the end of this month.

“They would probably grant emergency use authorisation for children between the ages of 11 to five. If that happens then we’ll be able to get the vaccine to children within this age category, but until we get that, or we see that approval happening in the US, we will be confined more to the 12 to under 18.”

In the meantime, Minister Anthony noted that parents must continue to practice the basic COVID-19 measures to keep their younger children safe and protected. 

“There are simple things that [we] have to make sure [of], that children are properly masked up at least in the public, you have to take those precautions like sanitising and social distancing. These would help to reduce the chances of getting infected, if people take these simple measures, I think it would help us greatly.   

“Everybody got to be on board, without everybody being on board and taking this very seriously, we are going to see infections and for those children who would have comorbidities, meaning they have some underlying illnesses. Children with diabetic type one and others with other types of conditions, those children should take extra precautions, because they are vulnerable as it is, because of their underlying conditions.”

On Monday last, Pfizer Director Dr. Scott Gottlieb told US CNBC news that data from the company’s vaccine trials for children in that age group [11 to five], should be available in September, which would then be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration.

He said if the FDA sticks to its normal timeline, in terms of how it reviews applications, emergency use authorisation could be granted in four to six weeks’ time.